Jose Rodela

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Jose Rodela
JoseRodela300.jpg
Rodela during his time of service
Born (1937-06-15) June 15, 1937 (age 80)
Corpus Christi, Texas
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1955–1975
Rank Master Sergeant
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart (2)
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal (2)

Jose Rodela (born June 15, 1937) is a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Background[edit]

Rodela joined the Army in 1955 at age 17, and retired with the rank of master sergeant in 1975.[1]

Rodela was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in a March 18, 2014 ceremony in the White House. The award comes through the Defense Authorization Act which called for a review of Jewish American, African American and Hispanic American veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the Medal of Honor.[2]

Medal of Honor action[edit]

According to his U.S. Army biography,[1] the Medal of Honor recognized Rodela's valorous actions on Sept. 1, 1969, while serving as the company commander in Phuoc Long Province, Vietnam. Rodela commanded his company throughout 18 hours of continuous contact when his battalion was attacked and taking heavy casualties. Throughout the battle, in spite of his wounds, Rodela repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to attend to the fallen and eliminate an enemy rocket position.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

[3] For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as the company commander, Detachment B-36, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces during combat operations against an armed enemy in Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam on September 1, 1969. That afternoon, Sergeant First Class Rodela’s battalion came under an intense barrage of mortar, rocket, and machine gun fire. Ignoring the withering enemy fire, Sergeant First Class Rodela immediately began placing his men into defensive positions to prevent the enemy from overrunning the entire battalion. Repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire, Sergeant First Class Rodela moved from position to position, providing suppressing fire and assisting wounded, and was himself wounded in the back and head by a B-40 rocket while recovering a wounded comrade. Alone, Sergeant First Class Rodela assaulted and knocked out the B-40 rocket position before successfully returning to the battalion’s perimeter. Sergeant First Class Rodela’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

Citation represents Soldier's rank at time of action.

Rodela receives the Medal of Honor during a WhIte House ceremony on March 18, 2014.

Other awards[edit]

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Rodela received:[1]

  • the Bronze Star Medal
  • Purple Heart with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Air Medal with "V" Device
  • Army Commendation Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Army Good Conduct Medal with Silver Clasp and one Loop
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal with one Silver Service Star
  • Korea Defense Service Medal
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Combat Infantryman Badge
  • Master Parachutist Badge
  • Expert Marksmanship Badge with Rifle Bar
  • Special Forces Tab
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with "60" Device
  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm Device
  • Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal Unit Citation First Class
  • Republic of Vietnam Special Forces Honorary Jump Wings
  • Columbian Army Parachutist Badge

See also[edit]

References[edit]